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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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350                               LIFE   OF
philosophy, soon "became intimate with. Motherby,
and after his departure from Kordgsberg, remained in
friendly correspondence with him. Professors "Yater
and ISTiebuhr came to ELdnigsberg during Humboldt's
stay, and it was here that he first met the great
historian, ISTiebuhr, who writes home on the 2Stli of
September, 1809- "I have only seen Humboldt, the
chief of learning, once till now. His reception was
extremely kind, and I anticipate much benefit from
his society/''
It was "in Konigsberg also where Humboldt entered
into relations with the court. A. man of such mind
and such profound knowledge of the world, was a star
even in the highest circles. He was honoured, not
only as a great scholar, as an eminent statesman, bxit
also as an unusually accomplished companion. The
court was amused by his jokes, by his comic descrip-
tions, and forgot the bitter troubles of the times when-
ever he indulged in his merry humour, and, com-
paring men to monkeys, forced them all to laughter.
He became most intimate with the Princess Louisa,
married to Prince HadziwiL
This was, on the whole, a time of harvest for Hum-
boldt, and he  had full  opportunities for developing;
his practical talents.     He found it easy not to aban-
don  hope  even  on  the  brink of the precipice,  and
worked on with untiring zeal, convinced that an ener-
getic and useful activity would always lead to favoLir-
able  results.     He sought to  impart  this  feeling  to
others, and exclaimed to one of his despairing com-
rades, "The present is a great goddess, and is rarely coy
to those who treat her with a certain cheerful courage/"*
"While his official  duties,  and the social demands
consequent thereon, occupied so much of his time and
attention, he had nevertheless force of character suffi-
cient  to remain true  to himself and his individual
development      He always commenced his days with,
the study of Latin or Greek, and said at this period:
<c Without this, the parchments would spoil the man
entirely/*